Chief Minister to decide on Cabinet reorganisation after consulting KPCC

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has ruled out the possibility of creating the post of Deputy Chief Minister in the State and said it is only a media creation.

Talking to journalists here on Monday after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her political secretary Ahmed Patel, and party-in charge for Kerala Madhusudan Mistry,

Mr. Chandy said some decisions regarding a Cabinet reorganisation had been taken and these would be implemented after consulting the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC). Whatever decisions taken with the approval of the party high command would be implemented, he said.

Mr. Chandy made it clear that there was only one vacancy in his Cabinet, in view of the resignation of K.B. Ganesh Kumar, and an appropriate decision would be taken to fill the vacancy.

There was speculation in the media in Kerala that KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala would be accommodated as Deputy Chief Minister in Mr. Chandy’s Cabinet, considering his seniority.

Girish Menon adds from Thiruvananthapuram:

The Congress high command appears to have left it to Mr. Chandy to take a final decision on reshuffling his Cabinet, including the induction of Mr. Chennithala.

The high command, it seems, has not given its approval for the post of Deputy Chief Minister, owing to the strong objection of the Indian Union Muslim League and in view of the practice of discouraging dual power centres in the States where the party is in power.

With regard to portfolio allocation, the high command has preferred not to interfere with the prerogative of the Chief Minister, who has now been asked to hold discussions in Kerala with all concerned, including Mr. Chennithala, to complete the process.

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